Certificate of Peer Nonprofit Leadership

As nonprofit directors and senior staff, we often feel isolated and lonely in our mission to make a social impact while simultaneously dealing with the mountainous loads of stress put on us at work and at home.

Form a peer leadership group of twelve to sixteen nonprofit Executive Directors and senior leadership staff that are going through similar issues and have real life experience on what has worked for them and what hasn’t in leading a nonprofit. While these peer-to-peer learning groups are facilitated by The Center for Social Leadership’s President, Anthony Silard and our Best Practices Leaders, they are designed to make the participants the teachers.

Once a month you will join a relaxed, confidential, trusting environment of your peers. You will be able to comfortably share your challenges as well as successes without fear of being judged, ridiculed, or your words repeated outside of the group. (What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and what happens in your peer leadership group also stays there.) You will receive tried and tested advice from others that have gone through the same situation. As you hear about others experiences, you will come up with new ideas and strategies to put into practice in your organization. All the while you will also be helping other nonprofits to grow and succeed.


General Structure (can be customized to fit the needs of your group of nonprofit directors):

•    Each Session is 4 hours (1/2 day)
•    Sessions are usually held once a month for a full year (with the exception of August and December)
•    Alternatively, the Certificate of Peer Nonprofit Leadership schedule can be adjusted to meet the needs of the participating nonprofits, and can include grouped sessions over a few 2- or 3-day periods throughout the year
•    10 sessions x 4 hours each = 40 hours of peer-to-peer learning (75%) and structured leadership learning (25% – see below)
•    In addition to the monthly sessions, you will receive two (2) one-hour executive coaching sessions with Anthony Silard or one of our Best Practices Leaders during the course of the year to discuss your personal leadership style and specific leadership challenges
•    You will be sent five books to read during the yearlong program (Anthony Silard will select these books based on the group discussions and needs)
•    A curriculum that includes the above books and 2-3 articles or videos per month you will be expected to read/view
•    A graduation and riverboat cruise on the Potomac River where you will be able to bring a spouse, partner, or friend to celebrate your success

Session Structure:

Each session is usually structured as follows:

•    Creating an intimate environment where you truly get to know the other senior nonprofit leaders and build a supportive peer network
•    During each session, one nonprofit leader will have 40 minutes to present a significant challenge they are facing to the group and receive feedback/peer support in finding solutions/designing new strategies to meet the challenge
•    Every other nonprofit leader will have 8 to 15 minutes to share a specific challenge they are facing with the group and receive feedback/peer support in finding solutions/designing new strategies to meet the challenge
•    Additional time will be allocated to group discussion about the common challenges members are facing
•    One hour each session will be allocated to a structured nonprofit leadership training by both Anthony Silard – 6 themes to be selected by participants from CSL’s Leadership Workshops, such as:

  • Fundraising
  • How to Inspire a Collective Vision
  • The Characteristics of an Effective Nonprofit Leader
  • Leadership Communication
  • Leading in Tough Economic Times
  • Managing Change;

And CSL’s Best Practices Leaders who will visit our program on 4 occasions to facilitate trainings on themes such as:

  • Alan  Andreasen, Professor, Georgetown Business School (Social Marketing)
  • Michael Maccoby, Professor, Oxford University’s Said School of Business (Leadership Style)
  • Tony Schwartz, Author, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working and co-Author, The Power of Full Engagement (Advanced Work-Life Balance Strategies)

Who is eligible?

Anyone who is in a senior leadership role, with significant decision-making power, in a nonprofit organization.

See a list of CSL’s thousands of Nonprofit Leadership Program Alumni – nonprofit organizations that have participated in CSL’s nonprofit leadership training programs. Check out the Testimonials from some of our alumni.

How to Host a Peer Leadership Group

  • Choose a location, time and day to meet
  • Help us recruit senior nonprofit leaders to join your group
  • If you are a donor, provide full or partial scholarships for your grantees to form a group


Contact CSL
if you are interested in setting up a Certificate of Peer Nonprofit Leadership for nonprofits in your region, focus area or funding area.

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  • Testimonials

    Thank you Tony for helping me find my passion! Forty years of not knowing and to finally have an “ah ha” moment!

    — Pam Smartt, Connections for Life

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    I love Tony’s passion for his topic! I also am very inspired by how he merges many cultural philosophies….I like how he makes leadership a ‘concrete’ idea…I wish the retreat had been longer.

    — Michelle Chun-Tuck, The Fresno Regional Foundation’s Nonprofit Advancement Center

    View Full Testimonials

    I believe that many of us learned a lot more than we anticipated we would. Tony’s workshops fueled conversations that continued through dinners, evening walks on the beach, and late night groups who gathered around wine and intense conversation....Tony helped us regain our focus and renew our passion and vision!

    — Janna Genovese, Executive Director, Womenspace Unlimited

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    Tony’s sessions were practical, relevant, thought-provoking and clear. I would have enjoyed more time with him.

    — Shaheen Mistri, Executive Director, Akanksha, Bombay, India

    View Full Testimonials

    Tony Silard and the Center for Social Leadership are indeed transforming the way nonprofit leaders lead.

    — Clark Byron, D.Min., Coalition for Independence (CFI)

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    I see myself continuing as an NGO leader because of my skills that I now have after this conference. Tony’s 15 Principles will help me in leading my organization to achieve its vision, mission and goals…This conference was really helpful and it should be organized again for other NGO Directors.

    — Brian Kayongo, Director, Adolescent Reproductive Health Advocates, Zambia

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    This was a 100% well-prepared, well-carried out, and well-received conference. I felt like the speakers knew exactly what our group's struggles were in maintaining and growing a nonprofit.

    — Sara Ortega, Mira Scholars Foundation, San Francisco, CA

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    I think Tony’s approach was good because we had the chance to discuss the different characteristics of a leader….He made us realize that we all have characteristics of leaders in us.

    — Patty Santucci, Outreach Worker, Youth Developer, The Latin American Youth Center

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    The retreat surpassed my expectations! I want more training from Tony, and I’ll even drive for hours to it!

    — Andra Christensen, Board Member, The Discovery Center

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    Tony's use of examples and stories always help clarify/illustrate his points – and keep the discussion interesting. What I find most important, is that Tony includes stories from his personal experiences and feelings. To me, that adds a level of authenticity and vulnerability that I see as a commitment to teaching and generosity that is unique.

    — J. Kevin Jones, Jr., Deputy Director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

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    Tony has a way of being that is authentic and welcoming. His passion and commitment was evident. The approach was powerfully and passionately delivered…The retreat absolutely exceeded my expectations. PASSION and TRUTH are contagious! Tony is an example of a confident, compassionate, gentle person who has made a difference in this world. He is very special and a treasure.

    — Sharon Gallagher, Board Member, American Red Cross

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    Tony was the perfect facilitator as he had walked the path I am on…I need more time for myself, I need to find balance and hone skills for my staff. I can learn a lot from Tony’s calmness and integrity.

    — Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, Executive Director, YouthBuild

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    CSL's nonprofit leadership training helped me fully appreciate my inner voice. It has allowed my philosophy of leadership to bloom!

    — Holly M. Gartmayer-DeYoung, Healthcare Executive on Sabbatical, Addison, ME

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    The workshop has really helped me to identify my blind spots. After this conference I will have an inclusive decision-making style. I will avoid the ‘I know it all’ attitude.

    — Emmanuel Malubila, Executive Director, Zambia Ex-Prisoners Rehabilitation and Counseling

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    I have worked with 5 national organizations and have had the opportunity to participate in several leadership development programs, all valuable, but none of which compared to the quality and depth of ECPNL...The quality of the presenters was second to none...I highly recommend this Program for nonprofit leaders at any stage of their career.

    — Joe Elmore, CAWA Director,
 Strategic Development National Outreach – MS Gulf, Coast
Hurricane Katrina Recovery

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    This conference has dramatically broadened and encouraged my plans for my nonprofit enterprise... Thank you. A life-changing experience.

    — Art Shields, Lifesavers World Inc.

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    The conference affected my philosophy of leadership. It taught me not to be a dictator, but to have vision and be a listener.

    — Linah Nkhonjela, Executive Director, Girls Brigade of Zambia

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